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A year after BK..low scores and still overwhelmed


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Hello all,

 

I filed bankruptcy last year and was discharged 7/20/17. Good news I guess - but my scores still suck, currently my TU and EQ scores are in the low 500s. My EX score was at 600 last time I checked. 

 

I have floated in and out of this forum and other websites looking on how to start the rebuilding process and just end up feeling overwhelmed. I aspire to have better credit, just don’t know where to start and feel kind of hopeless.

 

I thought perhaps I should start a thread for advice and to even maybe motivate me. I have done some online disputes here and there but, haven’t been very diligent about the whole process. Also, online disputes seem to be a miss for me unless I am having addresses removed (EX excluded). Since the discharge, I have been approved for a few store cards which I don’t use...but that doesn’t help my score at all.

 

So here is an overview of what’s left on my credit files:

 

1st off - I have two bk reporting on my reports. One was dismissed, which is from last year because my attorney had an issue getting the fee in on time (negligence on her end). The court had to open another case, which is the case that is discharged. 

 

2nd - All of the accounts included in bk are reporting correctly except for DCU and a CapOne acct - I disputed and the CRAs said these accounts are valid! I should add that I did it online, which was probably a big no no. Can I redispute by mail along with my discharge papers?

 

I should add that I burned CapOne, NFCU, Credit One, Chase, Penfed, and DCU. Not sure what options that leaves me with for the secured/bk friendly card route. Discover did approve me shortly after the discharge for a secured card but, I never gave the security deposit. I think I wasn’t really ready and didn’t want to get the card without knowing how to use it to benefit my scores.

 

3rd - I have some accounts that were not included in the bk that have lates, along with a student loan (Perkins loan being handled by ESCI )that has lates. These lates are a drag and I am trying to figure out how I can have them removed. I also have a paid charge off on my account. I tried consolidating the Perkins loan which is defaulted, the consolidation fell through. What else can I do?

 

4th - I have tons of inquiries on my reports, because I go on random app sprees hoping for a break that will never happen. Should I bother to have these removed?

 

I am starting from scratch now and have ordered my TU and EQ report by mail today. Trying to also order EX, they said I need to mail information to them when I called the auto system. 

 

I suppose my overall issue and question is - How can I increase my scores when I have two bankruptcies reporting and a bunch of lates, plus one paid charge off? Do I need to wait until these things fall off before even working on my reports? My credit files suck and I am stuck, any help is appreciated.

 

I wasn’t sure if I should put more detailed info on my accounts but, if I need to - I can (minus my personal info of course)

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30 minutes ago, ch1c said:

4th - I have tons of inquiries on my reports, because I go on random app sprees hoping for a break that will never happen. Should I bother to have these removed?

 

 

The journey will not be short (but it WILL be worth it), so it might help just by adjusting expectations.

 

Next, I'll start with the easy stuff.  Forget about inquiries and stop applying for anything until you have a solid plan to build useful credit lines.  

 

Start with a couple of secured cards that graduate (Bank of America, Discovery) if necessary.

Edited by cv91915
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First question, are any of the lates that are reporting occur after or during the BK? If so, that is going to hammer your score (same as me) until they start to age dramatically. If not, then that is a good thing.

It isn't magic to get it all better but it is a process that will take time. I would stop disputing online period and the only time I personally have is with very old accounts that are set to be removed and even then sometimes I just wait for the fall off.

Read a lot here and eventually it starts to click.. it took a while for my light bulb to go on years ago :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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14 hours ago, clambert1273 said:

First question, are any of the lates that are reporting occur after or during the BK? If so, that is going to hammer your score (same as me) until they start to age dramatically. If not, then that is a good thing.

It isn't magic to get it all better but it is a process that will take time. I would stop disputing online period and the only time I personally have is with very old accounts that are set to be removed and even then sometimes I just wait for the fall off.

Read a lot here and eventually it starts to click.. it took a while for my light bulb to go on years ago :)


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Thank you for responding! The lates are all before the bankruptcy. I need to look at the dates and see when they are due to fall. Accounts fall off starting from the first date of delinquency?

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Thank you for responding! The lates are all before the bankruptcy. I need to look at the dates and see when they are due to fall. Accounts fall off starting from the first date of delinquency?


Yup and EQ is the only one I know of that actually shows that date. There are ways to get stuff off early so just takes some reading on here. It will be confusing and a lot of WTF at first but the more you read it will start to click.

Reading someone's entire process really helps to see the methods... last time I did this it took me a solid 2 years to get all cleaned up.. but it was worth it!


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1 hour ago, clambert1273 said:

 


Yup and EQ is the only one I know of that actually shows that date. There are ways to get stuff off early so just takes some reading on here. It will be confusing and a lot of WTF at first but the more you read it will start to click.

Reading someone's entire process really helps to see the methods... last time I did this it took me a solid 2 years to get all cleaned up.. but it was worth it!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Ok I will continue reading the boards, and searching for stories. That does help sort of guide me and also serves as motivation. I know everyone’s journey is different but, at least it’s a start.

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First thing is to take a deep breath and don't get discouraged.  It isn't going to happen overnight, but you can do it.  Many of us here have been in your shoes and have come out the other end stronger than before.

 

First - You should try to get the duplicate BK removed.  How close in timing was the dismissed one to the one that is being discharged?  I would put up another post over in the BK forum to ask for help on that.

 

Second - In terms of disputing, never do it online for things like this.  I would ask for reinvestigation, and if that fails, file a complaint with the CFPB.  Again, you may want to ask over in the BK forum for some advice on that (along with the duplicate BK.

 

Third - On the student loans, I would look into the loan rehabilitation program.  This allows it to be brought to current, provided you make 9 on-time payments.

 

Last - You need to start building a positive credit history.  The best way to do that is with a couple of secured cards.  While you burned NFCU, there are others that will give you a secured card.  I would open 2 of these with as large a limit as you can afford (without impacting your emergency fund) and continue to use and PIF regularly.  Give them a year and hopefully they will graduate to unsecured.  Over that year you can also rehab the student loan as mentioned above and take the time to fix any errors on your CRs.  Do all that and you should be on the right path, and start having the ability to get unsecured cards and have some options.

 

Also, agree with Clam, read others stories, especially in the BK forum as there are probably threads on every one of the things you asked about, and ask a lot of questions.

 

If you'd like, I can move this thread to the BK forum as well, just let me know.

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17 hours ago, ch1c said:

I have done some online disputes here and there but, haven’t been very diligent about the whole process. Also, online disputes seem to be a miss for me unless I am having addresses removed (EX excluded).

 

You need to make this a project and become diligent about it. It won't happen on accident. I would suggest starting an Excel spreadsheet to track your efforts. Just make it a point each weekend to update your spreadsheet and generate new written (forget online) disputes to renew your attacks on everything. Based on whatever updates happen that week, start a new round of disputes. Rinse, repeat.

 

17 hours ago, ch1c said:

Since the discharge, I have been approved for a few store cards which I don’t use...but that doesn’t help my score at all.

 

 

Those do help long term. Just keep them active. Use them each for at least one transaction charge every 6 months. They will start really helping you once they are 1-2 years old. It they remain inactive then they are stale on your file and help less. If they remain inactive they will be closed eventually and no longer help as much.

 

17 hours ago, ch1c said:

1st off - I have two bk reporting on my reports. One was dismissed, which is from last year because my attorney had an issue getting the fee in on time (negligence on her end). The court had to open another case, which is the case that is discharged. 

 

2nd - All of the accounts included in bk are reporting correctly except for DCU and a CapOne acct - I disputed and the CRAs said these accounts are valid! I should add that I did it online, which was probably a big no no. Can I redispute by mail along with my discharge papers?

 

 

Do NOT send your discharge papers to the credit bureaus.

 

Dispute all of the negative tradelines in writing with all of the credit bureaus.

(6 of them, don't forget Innovis, SageStream and ChexSystems)

 

If they respond that they were verified, then reply back to the credit bureaus and demand the MOV.

If they respond that they already verified and deemed your new dispute frivolous and they won't re-investigate, then dispute again and threaten to sue them for violation of the FCRA and declare that it is NOT frivolous and that THIS dispute is new and includes fresh information. The clerk reading your dispute is a minimum wage person, to it can be hit or miss on re-investigations. Just keep doing it again and again, eventually you will get it restarted.

 

17 hours ago, ch1c said:

I should add that I burned CapOne, NFCU, Credit One, Chase, Penfed, and DCU. Not sure what options that leaves me with for the secured/bk friendly card route. Discover did approve me shortly after the discharge for a secured card but, I never gave the security deposit. I think I wasn’t really ready and didn’t want to get the card without knowing how to use it to benefit my scores.

 

Wells Fargo has a secured credit card.

 

https://www.wellsfargo.com/credit-cards/secured/

 

There are others, Google for them. Get at least 3 of them going to build 3 positive tradelines.

I think that is the FICO minimum for an ideal score. After 12 months of history and 6-12 months of credit cleanup, you will have a solid FICO score.

 

17 hours ago, ch1c said:

3rd - I have some accounts that were not included in the bk that have lates, along with a student loan (Perkins loan being handled by ESCI )that has lates. These lates are a drag and I am trying to figure out how I can have them removed. I also have a paid charge off on my account. I tried consolidating the Perkins loan which is defaulted, the consolidation fell through. What else can I do?

 

4th - I have tons of inquiries on my reports, because I go on random app sprees hoping for a break that will never happen. Should I bother to have these removed?

 

 

To get the lates removed, while still keeping the accounts overall, is a tough needle to thread. I had that issue with an old Bank of America auto loan with one 30 day late. I wanted the late gone, but also keep the auto loan which was already paid off and closed. TU and EX were clean, but EQ had the late. I got it done, but it took a strategy that I doubt you have the org skills to handle right now. I basically filed for arbitration and the Equifax legal department called me and it was taken care of.

 

Don't worry about inquiries. That is the least of your worries and they will all not hurt any more after 12 months.

 

18 hours ago, ch1c said:

I am starting from scratch now and have ordered my TU and EQ report by mail today. Trying to also order EX, they said I need to mail information to them when I called the auto system. 

 

I suppose my overall issue and question is - How can I increase my scores when I have two bankruptcies reporting and a bunch of lates, plus one paid charge off? Do I need to wait until these things fall off before even working on my reports? My credit files suck and I am stuck, any help is appreciated.

 

 

Sign up for the free credit report services. They are well worth it to start updates on data in your files.

CreditKarma

CreditSesame

Wallethub

Experian Creditworks (Basic, not Premium)

Those are the free services that I use.

 

To increase your scores you just have to attack the bankruptcies and the lates. Analyze the open accounts with lates and determine if you really need them on your credit files. You might consider just having them deleted also. After the lates are 7 years old, you can call those creditors and request a new account number because you lost your card. You will keep the history and the account will then likely re-appear on your files because of the newly issue account number. Or you can even work with the credit bureaus to remove the filtering that had removed that account. I have pulled that off before in order to get an account to re-appear that was missing from 1 of the 3 credit bureaus.

 

You don't need to wait on anything. All of the stuff included in bankruptcy is safe from any lawsuits being filed against you. You can attack all of this stuff right away.

 

Good luck.

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21 minutes ago, CTSoxFan said:

First thing is to take a deep breath and don't get discouraged.  It isn't going to happen overnight, but you can do it.  Many of us here have been in your shoes and have come out the other end stronger than before.

 

First - You should try to get the duplicate BK removed.  How close in timing was the dismissed one to the one that is being discharged?  I would put up another post over in the BK forum to ask for help on that.

 

Second - In terms of disputing, never do it online for things like this.  I would ask for reinvestigation, and if that fails, file a complaint with the CFPB.  Again, you may want to ask over in the BK forum for some advice on that (along with the duplicate BK.

 

Third - On the student loans, I would look into the loan rehabilitation program.  This allows it to be brought to current, provided you make 9 on-time payments.

 

Last - You need to start building a positive credit history.  The best way to do that is with a couple of secured cards.  While you burned NFCU, there are others that will give you a secured card.  I would open 2 of these with as large a limit as you can afford (without impacting your emergency fund) and continue to use and PIF regularly.  Give them a year and hopefully they will graduate to unsecured.  Over that year you can also rehab the student loan as mentioned above and take the time to fix any errors on your CRs.  Do all that and you should be on the right path, and start having the ability to get unsecured cards and have some options.

 

Also, agree with Clam, read others stories, especially in the BK forum as there are probably threads on every one of the things you asked about, and ask a lot of questions.

 

If you'd like, I can move this thread to the BK forum as well, just let me know.

 

If this is better suited in the BK forum, yes please move. I wasn’t sure which forum to post to, I had two windows open with the same post in both sections trying to debate which one submit lol.

 

Thank you all so much for this advice, I want to cry lol! 

Edited by ch1c
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15 minutes ago, RocketGoBoom said:

 

You need to make this a project and become diligent about it. It won't happen on accident. I would suggest starting an Excel spreadsheet to track your efforts. Just make it a point each weekend to update your spreadsheet and generate new written (forget online) disputes to renew your attacks on everything. Based on whatever updates happen that week, start a new round of disputes. Rinse, repeat.

 

 

Those do help long term. Just keep them active. Use them each for at least one transaction charge every 6 months. They will start really helping you once they are 1-2 years old. It they remain inactive then they are stale on your file and help less. If they remain inactive they will be closed eventually and no longer help as much.

 

 

Do NOT send your discharge papers to the credit bureaus.

 

Dispute all of the negative tradelines in writing with all of the credit bureaus.

(6 of them, don't forget Innovis, SageStream and ChexSystems)

 

If they respond that they were verified, then reply back to the credit bureaus and demand the MOV.

If they respond that they already verified and deemed your new dispute frivolous and they won't re-investigate, then dispute again and threaten to sue them for violation of the FCRA and declare that it is NOT frivolous and that THIS dispute is new and includes fresh information. The clerk reading your dispute is a minimum wage person, to it can be hit or miss on re-investigations. Just keep doing it again and again, eventually you will get it restarted.

 

 

Wells Fargo has a secured credit card.

 

https://www.wellsfargo.com/credit-cards/secured/

 

There are others, Google for them. Get at least 3 of them going to build 3 positive tradelines.

I think that is the FICO minimum for an ideal score. After 12 months of history and 6-12 months of credit cleanup, you will have a solid FICO score.

 

 

To get the lates removed, while still keeping the accounts overall, is a tough needle to thread. I had that issue with an old Bank of America auto loan with one 30 day late. I wanted the late gone, but also keep the auto loan which was already paid off and closed. TU and EX were clean, but EQ had the late. I got it done, but it took a strategy that I doubt you have the org skills to handle right now. I basically filed for arbitration and the Equifax legal department called me and it was taken care of.

 

Don't worry about inquiries. That is the least of your worries and they will all not hurt any more after 12 months.

 

 

Sign up for the free credit report services. They are well worth it to start updates on data in your files.

CreditKarma

CreditSesame

Wallethub

Experian Creditworks (Basic, not Premium)

Those are the free services that I use.

 

To increase your scores you just have to attack the bankruptcies and the lates. Analyze the open accounts with lates and determine if you really need them on your credit files. You might consider just having them deleted also. After the lates are 7 years old, you can call those creditors and request a new account number because you lost your card. You will keep the history and the account will then likely re-appear on your files because of the newly issue account number. Or you can even work with the credit bureaus to remove the filtering that had removed that account. I have pulled that off before in order to get an account to re-appear that was missing from 1 of the 3 credit bureaus.

 

You don't need to wait on anything. All of the stuff included in bankruptcy is safe from any lawsuits being filed against you. You can attack all of this stuff right away.

 

Good luck.

 Wow, thank you for responding to each issue! I am reading and digesting everything you said. This forum is awesome!

 

I am re-working on a binder to keep for my credit repair journey. I started one two years ago, but never kept up with it. Thank God I still have in my home office, it’s time to start from scratch.

 

Also, that excel sheet is a great tip! Definitely will add that to the list.

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20 hours ago, ch1c said:

 Wow, thank you for responding to each issue! I am reading and digesting everything you said. This forum is awesome!

 

I am re-working on a binder to keep for my credit repair journey. I started one two years ago, but never kept up with it. Thank God I still have in my home office, it’s time to start from scratch.

 

Also, that excel sheet is a great tip! Definitely will add that to the list.

 

No problem. Excel is your friend.

 

Staying organized in this process is critical, especially with 6 credit bureaus out there now that you need to sort of keep an eye on. The big 3 get all of the attention, but Innovis, Sagestream and ChexSystems are also regularly checked by your banks and creditors.

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      Synchrony (GE): 866-519-6441 (Marvel CC, Sr UW)

      Target Biz Card: 800-440-5317
      Tiffany: 800-770-0800
      Transunion: (312) 466-7719 (Corporate Office Resolution Team Voicemail)
      Transunion: (610) 546-4600 (Corporate Office, need extension or last name to search directory)

      USAA Bank Secured Platinum: 800-344-5696 ext 38763 (secured product specialist)
      US Bank: 800-685-7680 (Underwriting)
      US Bank Secured Platinum: 800-344-5696 (underwriters for secured product)

      Valero: 877-882-5376

      Walmart (Sync): 877-379-8175 (Sr UW)
      Walmart (Sync): 877-969-5302 (Verification)
      Wells Fargo: 866-677-1128 (CC Executive Office)
      Wells Fargo: 844-576-6424 (Executive Office)
      Wells Fargo: 877-514-3717 (Amex Propel Credit Svcs)
      Wells Fargo: 844-879-4824 (Direct # for Product Change Credit Svcs)
      Wright Express: 888-743-3893   
       
    • By PS2020
      I had another topic on the this subject a while back but I felt it was getting too far off the mark, so I wanted to start fresh. I'll keep it super simple though, because my current goal is to repair my credit:
       
      TL;DR - What do I do with my charge offs/things that have been sent to collection and are well within the SOL? Pay them off ASAP? Pay in Full or go for the discounted settlements? What will let me start building up my score the quickest and allow me to distance myself from my troubled history?
       
      I have 2 chase accounts, one is $5k+ and one is $600+, both have been charged off, both are well within the SOL (happened in 2018, SOL is 5 years in Illinois for getting sued afaik). I have a Discount tire one that has also been charged off, also well within the SOL. Now there are some other accounts I KNOW have been charged off, all around the same time, but they either show up on my eReport or not at all, but I expect them to pop up as I continue down this process, because that seems to be what's been happening anyways.
       
      Now here's what I SPECIFICALLY need an answer on, because I felt like this wasn't getting answered: What do I do with this information? I know I owe the money, I want to improve my credit. Is it really worth going through the whole Debt Validation thing at this point? If not, than do I let's say call up Chase or Discount Tire or any of the OCs I had these debts with and talk to them? Do I just wait for the collection letter to come and settle the debt that way? Will it look better if I pay off the debt in full as opposed to going through one of these CAs, or does it not matter at this point other than getting hit with a 1099?
       
      I have searched up and down the boards and I am having trouble finding the answers I need. I already know paper reports are worth a million times more than the ereports, I already know about credit utilization and DTI and all of that, I already know what to do to build the credit back up once I don't have to worry about the charge offs before, but what I don't know is what to do with my current charge offs.
       
      Thank you all for your time! I apologize if my tone sounds demanding; I promise you that is not the case! I just want to be as straightforward as possible so I'm not wasting your time. I'm thankful for the advice I have been given already and as a matter of fact this board helped me get back with AMEX after the whole debacle I had with them.
    • By Racheljp3
      Hi everyone. 
      I just have a question on deciding if I should pay this in full or over the next few month.
      I had to file chapter 13 in 2015. 
      I’ve been rebuilding since discharged in June 2019. I’ve done really good with CC’s since then. I was approved for 3k with PayPal credit. I only use it for purchases over 100 so I can get 0% for 6 months. I owe $1300 on it now. (Christmas) It will be interest free until June. 
      I needed a an installment loan so I got $3600 via Upstart. I refused more because I just need the trade line. 
      My question is do I just pay $350 over the next few months and put the money in savings or go ahead and just pay it in full? 
      The total credit lines for Credit cards including the PayPal is $8750 
      I owe less than $1400 total. 
      I’m going to let them draft the payment for the loan monthly and then just pay it in full at 13 months. 
      That’s my plan and it makes sense in my head. I just don’t know what to do about the Paypal account. Pay in full now or wait and get the extra interest from savings account. 
      any advice? I over think everything. 



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